on excuses (sort-of)

I don’t like excuses.  I never have.  It’s not to say that sometimes there isn’t a really valid reason why you did/didn’t do something.  I think the reason I don’t like them is that I know (deep down) there really is no excuse for my not doing the things I should do.  (Example: yes, my kitchen is small but that doesn’t mean it’s okay to let the dishes pile up in the tiny sink.)  Excuses are the first thing to flood my mind when a challenge is presented.  (Example: my dear friend wants to run a half-marathon in five months.  My first thought is ‘I can’t do it’.)  I’m sure this has a lot to do with psychology and negativity and whatnot but that’s an idea I don’t really have the desire to explore cause I’ll just confuse you and I’ll confuse myself.  I have a point with this blog entry and I want to stick to it – for your sake, friends.

The working title of this blog started in my head as ‘reasons why I don’t write’.  Then I realized that it’s bigger than that; it’s about my relationship with excuses.  To me, excuses are like a vapor: they float in and fog up my end-goal; they confuse and disorient me and I can’t grasp them.  I’m a little too good at giving myself excuses and as a consequence, I sort of end up shaming myself.  Crazy, right?!  The way I deal with this shame is to close in on myself.  I cut out everyone and everything, I go dark on social media (yes, even Instagram), I shuffle on through my life keeping my eyes down.  I retreat – all because of excuses.  That brings us to writing.  I know a lot of bloggers (not that I’m calling myself a “blogger”) struggle with finding their voice, consistency in writing and building a readership.  I know the only way to build my readership is to write consistently.  I feel like, when I’m in this self-shamed-state, that I don’t want to write.  I get so tired of myself and as a consequence I feel like you all will be tired of me too.  I feel like nothing I’m writing will be of any real gain.  Before this spirals into a web-based pity-party, I’m going to continue my original idea giving you reasons I don’t write.  Without further adieu:

reasons I don’t write:

  1. My phone deleted all my pictures (long story – not my fault) so any picture blogging I had planned came to a halt.  I say “my phone” but it was really a misunderstanding between my phone, a work PC and a camera.  I’d never blame Apple for something like that.
  2. I still kind of hate it that I don’t completely understand WordPress.  I’m going to have to resign myself to the fact that I’m simply not a person that can teach myself.  I need someone to teach me.  My ‘WordPress for Dummies’ remains uncracked.
  3. There’s cat litter on my desk which my cats use as a glorified perch.  How is one expected to have a creative space when there are two cats running around like crazies, leaving a trail of litter everywhere (did I mention my apartment is small.  Small space + two litterboxes = mayhem).
  4. I’m not really super happy about anything going on at the moment.  Springtime is fantastic – don’t get me wrong.  I love the city and I love my apartment… but I can’t muster up the modicum of happiness required to put into a blog entry.
  5. See aforementioned “excuse” of closing in on myself – I’m kind of floating around in there right now.
  6. I’m overly critical.  Of everything.
  7. Once I stop being regular about writing, it’s easier to stay on track that way than it is to get a thoughtful post up.

It’s not that I don’t want to blog.  Cause I do.  In fact, I’ve even thought about maybe putting some effort toward writing a book of essays.  Please just forgive me for this awkward time of in-betweenness.  I’m going to get better, I promise.  After all, if I want to be the next David Sedaris, I have to start somewhere.

P.S. I’m headed to Vegas in t-6 days.  Something good will come out of that, surely!  Right?!

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my very own chopped

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You know that cooking show on the Food Network, Chopped?

For those of you who aren’t familiar, let me introduce you.  There are four chefs to start and they have to cook through appetizer, entree and dessert in a timed cooking challenge.  After each round, one of the chefs is ‘chopped’ (perfect, right?!).  The curve ball to this cooking show is that the chefs all get a basket with a few ingredients (example: a whole fish, daikon radish, matcha powder and gummi bears) and all the ingredients must be present on the plate for the judging (and it has to taste good, obvi).

The connection between my life and the hit television show is that lately, it’s been like the basket on Chopped when it comes to cooking anything for myself.  Except it’s a race against time which isn’t a clock but rotting produce.  I haven’t quite learned to control myself in the produce section at the grocery.  I get really excited when I see rows and rows of fresh produce in every color of the rainbow.  Eggplant, zucchini, squash, kale, cauliflower, tomatoes—I can’t help myself.  As a consequence, I come home with much more than I need for myself and end up wasting and I can’t stand wasting produce.

Last week, as produce was rotting away in my fridge and I contemplated Orange Leaf for dinner—again—I decided to get up off the couch and cook something.  So with the aid of some classic Jeff Buckley (and some red wine) I got busy.  I cut up and boiled a head of cauliflower, I broke out my cast iron ovenware, I set to work chopping some sweet potatoes and apples and lovingly placed them in the dutch oven with some pork chops that I’d seasoned.  I drown it all in some vegetable stock and threw it in the oven.  It was, effectively, my own version of Chopped without the gummi bears.

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